Which subjects should we re-visit? Elite

In Military History

The first Elite title rapelled onto bookshelves back in 1984 and since then more than 200 Elite titles have been published, with Elite 200 World War II Glider Assault Tactics publishing earlier this year. Now, we are the first to admit that 'Elite' tag doesn't always quite ring true with the subjects that now appear in the series (also see the ongoing 'What constitutes a Raid / Campaign' debate!) and the series now includes the really successful Tactics mini-series. But what subjects in the series need a re-visit? When we first started talking about this a number of forum and blog commentators suggested that our MAA SAS title could do with a new treatment - perhaps it should be covered in the Elite series. I am a huge fan of the Angus McBride artwork in ELI 3 The Vikings (which incidentally remains one of the best-selling Elite titles) - but with the new research into the subject, could it be time for a new treatment - perhaps with some Peter Dennis art gracing the pages of the book? Or maybe there are some subjects which could use a multiple book treatment to provide more in-depth detail?


Let us know what you think!


The Rules!


Suggest two titles that you think we should revisit - with a brief sentence explaining why and how.

You have a third slot that you can use to support a suggestion made by another poster.

Remember, if your ideas have already been listed, chip in to support them anyway!

At the end of the month we will tally up the results and put the most popular to a book vote.

And last, but not least, this is for subjects already covered in Elite. An opportunity to suggest brand new titles on the blog will emerge in the future, and the forum and book suggestion drop box continue to be monitored by us!


NOTE - after our recent web woes, some blog and forum comments were wiped as we went back in time. We were able to recover the posts to this blog, but not the identity of the posters. So the following suggestions are true -  but anonymous. They will all count, however!


Here are your recommendations from before the great wipe:


" 1.) Royal Marines 1939-93.  It covers way too much.  Maybe a two book treatment, or just one book focusing on WWII since there was the Royal Marine Commando 1950-1982 not that long ago.

2.) U-Boat Crews 1914-45.  Divide it up into separate books for each war.

3.)  I support the Vikings suggestion, especially what with the TV show now and all, haha."



"1) Elite 42, The Persian Army 560-330 is, well, not to be cruel but I don't think the artwork is up to Opsrey's usual standards. Can you imagine is done by Giuseppe Rava for example?  It might be better to split this into two titles, one for the Persian army of the Marathon/Plataea period and another for the Persian army that faced Alexander.

2) Elite 54 UN Forces 1948-1994

There's been 20 years of UN missions since this book came out and it could use an update to see how the UN forces have evolved."


"I would like to see companion titles to Elite 10 (Warsaw Pact Forces) and 16 (NATO Armies) published to cover the huge changes that have taken place to the armed forces of all these countries since the fall of the Berlin Wall. As a mad uniform buff I would like to have good colour plates of all the different uniforms, but nevertheless I would want the "meat" of the book to concentrate on the changes of roles, equipment and doctrines brought about by the end of the Cold War.

If "Vikings" is to be re-vamped I would plead that some method of keeping Angus McBride's excellent artwork must be kept in publication."


"- US Army Rangers & LRRP Units 1942?87

There is a Warrior title on World War 2 Rangers but it mostly covers the Rangers who fought from 1942 - 43. You could split this subject in two - one on WW2 and one on the later Wars.

- Medieval Siege Warfare

This one seems to be pretty old fashioned to me"


"1. "The NVA and the Viet Cong" deserved a completely new treatment. This book is perhaps rather strangely title since it should really be titled "People's Army of Vietnam 1975 - 1992". It tries to cover all too much and ends up losing its track somewhere in the middle. It does cover the PAVN great and it's full of great information - but most of it seems outdated by now and could be refreshed by new research. I also feel like the VC could be left out entirely since their role in the actual book is so small that it is easily overlooked. The choices for the figure plates are also very poor and I can't understand how they passed the editor.


My suggestion is the following: "The People's Army of Vietnam 1955-91", covering everything from its inception through the Vietnam War, the invasion of Kampuchea (and the resulting counterinsurgency) and the Sino-Vietnamese War with its various border clashes over the years. It would be focused, there would be plenty of material for the plates (without having to repeat plates from the MAA on the Vietnam War) and up to date.


2. Perhaps dividing the "NATO Armies" and "Warsaw Pact Armies" into several books to accommodate all the different uniforms from all the different armies involved would be a good move. There's plenty here to cover and since it's been quite some time since the Cold War, perhaps about due time.


3. There is also a need for a big update on the "Israeli Defence Forces since 1973" which was released in 1986."


"Strangely enough I was admiring the artwork of my own Vikings copy just yesterday! More on Vikings please.


Besides I would especially love news from the IDF (no 8+18) and the French Foreign Legion (no 6). But everything on todays military forces will be most welcome..."



"Vikings:  Always new information and archeological research is adding to the lore, myths, and history of these peoples.


Pirates:  Who doesn't like pirates ya scallywag dogs!  Arrgghhhh give me more of the pieces of eight.


Finally, I tried to find an Elite book on MesoAmerica such as the Aztec, Maya, Mixtec, or Incans.  Nothing.  A few Elite books on North American Indians but very little else. Shameful.  Please consider not "revisiting" these civilizations but actually publishing a few Elite books on the subject!!"


"1) "Pike and Shot Tactics" - The book was really amazing, but why not a second title covering the XVI Century? It's before the Dutch reforms, but the Italian Wars, Scottish-British wars, Schkmalkaldic war and French wars of religion all saw brilliant commanders trying to make the best out of the pike and early shot. Plus, it would cover a huge gap in Osprey coverage.


2) I can't decide between "Mounted Archers of the Steppes" and "Early Samurai". They all try to cover a very extensive period in one book. The Mounted Archers one also has the problem of trying to cover lots of peoples in one book. Maybe the first could be turned into a multi-volume elite about the tactics of the steppe peoples, and the "Early Samurai" into a 2/3/4 volumes coverage of the early japanese armies


3) I support "The Persian Army 560-330", with updated research and better artwork (hint: better colouring)"




"Agree with the Persian army one, needs looking at again.

 I would also say the ancient Greeks, but focusing on later armies, say 270 and after were they started to move away from hoplites.

 And NATO and Warsaw pact troops broken down into separate specific books."



"very hard to call books that have the beautiful artwork of Angus McBride outdated...

 1) Attila and the Nomad Hordes

 my first Elite and still my favourite, however the research that took place in the last 25 years needs to be taken into account.

 2) the Commanders subseries

 the Command series was a failure, but i really liked the commanders subseries of Elite. bring that back! Russian commanders of the Napoleonic Wars are waiting to be covered! ;)

 3) supporting: Persian Army 560-330 BC

 many contenders here: Vikings, ancient Greeks...ultimately Persian Army, if only because it does not have the aforementioned Angus McBride artwork, and because the other two Elite titles have a more recent warrior title and ancient greece is covered fairly well and has many up-to-date titles."



"1. Inside the Soviet Army. If not a complete revisit, at least filling the gaps from the late 80s, when it came out, to today. There is likely revived interest in the subject, in light of events in the Ukraine. It would be a  good companion piece to the recent title on Russian security and paramilitary troops.

2. Warsaw Pact armies (now Ex-WP). Ditto the reason above, plus covering a lot of these states' integration into NATO

3. And I totally support a new book or books on the Persian Army. There is plenty of new scholarship and archaeology on the subject, and some new artwork would be nice as well (fingers crossed Peter Dennis does it!)"


"As Railok say, the NVA book need a complete remake, specially the ilustrations."


"I support another look at the NVA and/or Viet Cong! While I little problem with the colour plates rendering I always thought the subjects for the plates could've been better chosen, just odd."


"The Persian Army 560?330 BC: The artwork could be seriously improved and there's a lot more that could be covered with current research. It probably needs to be split into two books (i.e. "The Persian Army: From Cyrus II to Xerxes I" and "The Persian Army: From Artaxerxes I to Darius III").

Early Samurai AD 200-1500: The original was good, but it's coverage needs to be expanded over the course of at least three volumes (i.e. "Japanese Armies: Yayoi and Kofun periods", "Japanese Armies: Asuka, Nara and Heian periods" and "Japanese Armies: Kamakura and Muromachi periods")."


"1) I think Elite 98 British Commanders of WWII needs to be looked at again - either stick to just British commanders or do a more even-handed job with the Commonwealth officers. Preferably the latter, preferably over two volumes like the German Commanders titles, with a look at some of the lower command ranks.

2) Absolutely support the call for a complete re-working of Elite 42 The Persian Army 560-330bce. Definitely needs two volumes, more detail on some of the more notable kings and brand new artwork.

Mounted Archers of the Steppes is probably another title that tries to cover to much in a single volume."




Post Comments

Tomi posted on 23 Jul 2014 22:16:00

I think that German Special Forces of WWII need more detailed coverage. The Book \" German Special Forces of WW II\" was trying to cover all the braches of Wehrmacht.
Maybe separate elite titles of Brandenburgers, Jagdkommandos, K-verband and so on or maybe to titles like the Italian special forces books are done.

GI Gene posted on 7 Jul 2014 04:58:00
All of these have already been mentioned, so allow me to express my support for the following:

Elite #8- Israeli Defense Forces since 1973. Published in 1986, all you have to do release a volume or two that covers the Army, Air Force, and Naval components of the IDF since 1987.

Elite #38- The NVA and Viet Cong. Just focus on the land, air, and naval forces of North Vietnam from 1959 to the border skirmishes with China in the 1980\'s.

Elite #54- UN Forces 1948-94. This is a good example of trying to do too much with so little. Focus on UN operations that saw the blue helmets come under fire like the Congo, Cyprus, Lebanon, Somalia etc. Two volumes could cover the Cold War era, while two more could cover the post Cold War era.
Gaiiten posted on 6 Jul 2014 21:31:00

1. Sassanian Elite Cavalry
While the book is very good, the artworks are very erroneous and getting them revised (or even better make new artworks) would be very appreciated. Guiseppe Rava would be an excellent choice (some time ago he said, he would like to draw Sassanians ;) ).

2. I support \"The Persian Army 560-330 BC\"
scratchbuilder posted on 6 Jul 2014 15:42:00
I have already mentioned the Russ. There are many other worthy suggestions, but I agree about the Achaemenid Persians. Osprey coverage of this vastly important empire is scanty, out of date and has sub standard artwork. Perhaps an Elite on The Immortals, spanning the history of the dynasty?
FJ-1973 posted on 6 Jul 2014 08:44:00
Elite, I suggest:
# The books aboout the other side of the Iron curtain. Published during the Cold war, there is more information aviable now. Soviet Bloc Elite forces (5) and
Alessio posted on 5 Jul 2014 19:05:00
1) US navy seals: a title definitely to be expanded;
2) Us special forces : same as above.

support: Israeli elite forces and Royal Marines.
MontChevalier posted on 5 Jul 2014 01:27:00
I wish this sort of thing was done sooner, that way I would\'ve bounced right in. The subjects I wish you guys revisit are the German Medieval Armies. But as you can see, the subject is quite large because of the enormous amount of information on the subject. So therefore it has to be done by Heimat (this means homeland which is a loose translation of the German word). Every region in medieval Germany works differently. Therefore I think I could come up with a few ways as to how and why this subject should be looked into and which of the Heimats would best serve as sources of information in regards to region, perhaps even troops, movements, practices, divisions of government, laws, maybe even daily living and history. Since I\'m only allowed two suggestions, then I\'ll pick subjects that haven\'t been touched yet.

1st Suggestion: Austrian Medieval Armies 976-1246

Why: Because it\'s an important topic to those studying Austrian history. It would broaden the horizons of readers and even clue in on Austria and what Austria is. Many people don\'t understand the difference between the German race and the Austrian Heimat. That\'s why I didn\'t like the German Medieval Armies 1000-1300 title (Not that it was bad, it wasn\'t, it was great), because it simply tried to cover all of Germany when it was simply impossible. You have to focus on Germany by its princes. That leads to me how it can be done.

How: Here are a list of books, university personnel, artists and links that can be accessed to make this book.

A. Karl Lechner\'s (1976). Die Babenberger: Markgrafen und Herzoge von
kpkatz posted on 4 Jul 2014 23:11:00
Elite 8 \"Israeli Defense Forces Since 1973\" is a fascinating subject of great importance and interest. This book was published nearly three decades ago and is completely out of date. It needs to be updated. In addition, it is too broad a topic for one volume. I suggest one volume for IDF ground forces, and a second volume for IDF air/space and naval forces.
scratchbuilder posted on 4 Jul 2014 19:09:00
Much has been said about both the Vikings and the horse peoples of the steppe. I would like an Elite book about the early Russ. Particularly their transition from amphibious infantry to steppe horsemen. (For anyone unfamiliar with the Russ, the Riders of Rohan in the Lord Of The Rings films were armed and costumed as early Russ cavalry.)
Tomi posted on 4 Jul 2014 16:45:00
Soviet Blog Elite Forces and Inside the US Army need total upgrading.
xeneize posted on 4 Jul 2014 00:09:00
The NVA need a new, more complete book
Basti posted on 3 Jul 2014 12:50:00
Thank You!
Mike @ Osprey posted on 3 Jul 2014 12:42:00
Basti - unfortunately to get our website fixed we had to essentially teleport it back in time, to before the bug first knocked everything over. Whilst this fixed the issue it did mean that we lost some of the data (blog and forum comments in particular) which had been uploaded. We will try to copy across some of the old comments and paste them into the blog above though to try not to lose too many of the great suggestions.
Basti posted on 3 Jul 2014 12:03:00
Why have several posts been deleted?
Amaral posted on 3 Jul 2014 00:05:00
Very hard to say only two and support only one. The SAS was already mentioned in last month\'s book vote - I voted for it, and I hope for new books - so I will choose the following:

- Marine and Airborne forces: we don\'t have non-US or British marines and paras. This topic screams to be revisited. The book on the British Paras is old, the USMC truly deserves more titles (US Marines in Korea is a good title), but other NATO and non-NATO elite forces also deserve (or screams?) to be published. The Russian/Soviet airborne forces, the Portuguese paras and marines in Africa, Belgian Paracommandos, French paratroopers, Colombian paras and marines, ROK paras and marines etc...

- NATO armies: a lot changed and only British and French are notewhorthy contributors. There is already US and British books, we desperatly need some coverage about the French (two major wars, the professionalization process initiated in 1962, more than 65 military interventions after the
CMB posted on 2 Jul 2014 23:11:00
Sorry Painty,
I didn\'t see you requested a new volume on NATO first.
CMB posted on 2 Jul 2014 23:10:00
The US Marine Corps Since 1945 could be subdivided into a couple of Elites. Heck, the USMC in the Korean War alone could merit its own title. Since Vietnam Marines covers that period (plus Vietnamese and ROK marines), it could probably be skipped over, but that still leaves plenty of material for another volume.
NATO Armies might need a bit of an upgrade.
I support a new Elite on the Vikings. No, it\'s not because I\'m eating some of those Danish butter cookies right now.
B. posted on 2 Jul 2014 21:32:00
For me it will be:
1) Attila and the nomad hordes

2) The crusades

Coneyman posted on 2 Jul 2014 20:03:00
1) Pike and Shot tactics - A new book covering the early-mid twenty century (The italian wars, anglo-scottish wars, protestant vs catholics in Germany, french wars of religion, etc). Basically, Discussion Pike and Shot tactics before the Dutch reforms of prince Maurice.

2) Early Samurai/Attila and the Nomadic Hordes/Mounted Archers of the Steppes - Amazing tremes, but the original ones try to cover too much in 1 volume. All those could be multi-volume.

3) SUPPORT: The Persian Army 560 330 - With updated research and better illustrations
W├╝rttemberger posted on 2 Jul 2014 19:38:00
well, here we go again:

1) Attila and the Nomad Hordes

my favorutie book and has Angus mcBride artwork but the research of the last 24 years warrants a new one.

2) Commander subseries

Command series is gone, but the Commanders susberies of Elite was great. Russian commanders of the Napoleonic Wars waiting to be covered.

3) Supporting: Persian Army 560-330 BC

crappy artwork and a relative lack of new related content over the years (as opposed to Ancient Greeks for example) make this an obvious choice.
hobbe62 posted on 2 Jul 2014 17:59:00
1. NATO Armies
With ex-WP, ex-Soviet, ex-Jugoslav and ex-non-aligned members it is different than the Cold War NATO. A revised/new multiple volume NATO Armies title for the enlarged NATO from 1999 is a logical conclusion to the late-80s books covering European Cold War armies.
2. UN Forces 1948-94
Unfortunately the UN peace-keeping missions continued after 1994.
I also support a revision of the Persian Army title.
Paintybeard posted on 2 Jul 2014 17:51:00
I shall repeat my request for the books on NATO and Warsaw Pact to have second volumes dealing with developments after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

I\'d also like at least one book dealing with the French army after 1945, BUT LEAVE OUT THE S*DDING FOREIGN LEGION!!
1830 posted on 2 Jul 2014 17:29:00

I suggest:

1) Gurkhas: 19th century, WW1, WW2, Post 1947 service in British and Indian Armies.

2) UN Forces 1948
ShalimarTroy posted on 2 Jul 2014 14:24:00
This gives me a second chance to sound very erudite.

Vikings -- As Mike said there has been so much development and new archeological research on the subject that this book begs to be revisited.

Pirates -- Shiver me timbers ye dog. Revisit this book or I\'ll make ye walk the plank. Arrrgghhh!!!!!!

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